Has anyone built their own hitch? - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 39 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 7:18 pm Thread Starter
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Has anyone built their own hitch?

I had a hitch on my Venture Royale and, while I didn't pull my trailer much, it was nice knowing I could. Now with my K1200LT I don't have a hitch.

So, has anyone built their own? I know Dauntless makes a really nice one, but it is $400, and I have thousands of dollars in shop equipment and a nice pile of raw material out in my shop. Plus the engineer in me just won't let me buy what I could build myself.

It would be great if someone had blue prints or autocad files. Or at least some pointers on what to do and what not to do, now that you have done it.

I guess if there is interest, I can shot some pictures and post some prints when I get working on mine.

Regards,
Larry

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post #2 of 39 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 7:45 pm
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Larry,

I thought I was the only one that thought like that. I couldn't bring myself to spend the money for the exact same reason.

Don't have any "blueprints" and the project is in "flux". Couple of minor details didn't turn out quite right and are in the process of being changed. In fact the hitch isn't on the LT at this moment. (Matter of fact, the rear drive isn't on the bike either. Another story.)

Could probably get a few pictures and a few measurements. Wasn't really all that difficult. Take it off line?

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post #3 of 39 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 9:52 pm
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your best bet would be to copy another manufacturers hitch...
Proven design kind of thing...

It certainly wouldn't take too much work to copy the Bushtec on my bike...
A couple of flat pieces and some 2" square tubing would do the trick...

John

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post #4 of 39 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 10:47 pm
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Dauntless hitch

I put a Dauntless hitch on our 05 LT and the nice thing about it is when you remove the ball section the rest of the hitch is invisable. The other thing that I love about this hitch is when you don't have the ball section in place they supply you with flexible plastic caps that go on either end of the tube section to stop dirt & water from corroding the interior metal sections of the hitch. The hitch also has hard rubber coating on the outside. Cheers
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post #5 of 39 Old Jan 18th, 2006, 11:24 pm
 
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Larry, I'm with you. I bought a Dauntless in a pinch. Needed a hitch and no place to build. I have built a rack to plug into the hitch. Think about versatility when you build. A rack on the back is nice when you don't want to take the trailer.

Rick
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post #6 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 4:24 am
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Larry, I have a Classic Industries tow bar on my '04 LT. Here in Oz, they run for about $435 AUD and they are a bolt up fit. There are 2 bolts underneath the panniers which you remove and then just fit up the bar to them, 15 minute job tops. Disclaimer: unless you mistakenly remove the heat shield bolts on the exhaust pipe and then have to replace them.

Link to Classic Industries: www.classicind.com.au just use their search function for the bar you're after and you can download a picture of it and be inspired. It is just solid round bar approx. 16mm (5/8th) diameter and very basic.

HTH

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post #7 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:21 am
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Rick,

I have a similar case over here. Bought a Dauntless hitch from an ex-LT rider and this hitch has a receiver that I can hook up either a ball for trailer pulling or a rack for carrying whatever.
Now I'm in the process of designing / building my own rack (with the help of some stainless steel craftsmen I happen to know... ) but I need some ideas!

Could you possibly share us some pictures of your setup as well as some dimensions + your general experience on how much to load on a rack like that without pulling a wheelie at every stopsign...

Thanks in advance

Regards

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #8 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 9:17 am
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Make a hitch.

I second the idea of copying a proven design.
The Dauntless is a well designed and thought out hitch, its weak point being that it attaches to the rear "sub" frame of the LT and the saddlebag mounts.
I have never heard of it happening but wondered if pulling a heavy trailer over rough terrain could possibly cause cracking in the "sub" frame much like what used to happen to the early airhead BMW's.

On the other hand the Bushtec hitch attaches the load to the lower motor mount, probably a better place but the rear support (behind the license bracket) is not very well engineered, as you have to remove the entire hitch to change a tire.

A hybrid hitch taking the best parts of these two would be a better idea and in my opinion very marketable


Hans
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post #9 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 9:36 am
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Dauntless hitch

I have a Dauntless hitch from my 2005 LT that I will let go for $250, minus the wiring kit, (kept that when I triked). The hitch was only used for one trip before triking so is in like new shape. Great hitch, goes on nice and tows nice.

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post #10 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 11:20 am
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I suppose it all depends on what you're trying to pull.

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post #11 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:02 pm
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Pics

Here are the pics you want Larry.

The plate has one long and two short spacers under it to space it from the side plate...

The rear top portion is held to the frame tubes with U bolts ..
You can only see one side of these.. obviously the top plate is a little wider and higher than you can see to accomodate the U bolts...

The rest should be apparent...

Good Luck

John
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post #12 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:32 pm
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Cool buy / build

I have a hitch doc hitch.
Got it back in 2000 for about $250.00. Works well.

try www.hitchdoc.com

It is chrome plated.
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post #13 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:35 pm
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Cool buy / build

I have a hitch doc hitch.
Got it back in 2000 for about $250.00. Works well.

try www.hitchdoc.com

It is chrome plated.

I just checked the hitchdoc site, BMWLT hitch cost is $294.00
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post #14 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 6:44 pm Thread Starter
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Thanks for the pictures.

That is not at all what I was expecting. Great Pictures however!

It would seem the hitch would be so much stiffer is the center of the "X" was either welded or bolted.

As far a changing a tire, if you took that design, but then cut the long bar (that runs from the motor mount back to the ball) and welded in a coupler with a hole for a pin, like a Reese receiver, but round. Then, you would only need to unbolt the top of the "X", pull the pin, and rotate the arm out of the way, or slide it off.

Now, here is my question. This hitch design does not pull symmetrically along the longitudinal centerline of the bike. It would seem that under acceleration, it would tend to make the bike pull right and, under braking make the bike go left. I know on the pulling tractor, if the hitch is not perfectly centered, it will tend to make the tractor turn. Granted the ball is centered and it is a rigid structure, but it seems that it would make some difference putting all the stress on the right motor mount. I assume there is a clearance problem on the left side with the muffler, so that is how they solved that problem. I am just wondering if you noticed anything.

My venture hitch was similar, but had an additional diagonal brace from the cross member the ball attached to up to the upper shock bolt, and it was U-bolted to the frame the saddle bags sat in. That frame is not present on the LT.

Regards,
Larry

'99 K1200LT

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post #15 of 39 Old Jan 19th, 2006, 7:13 pm
 
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Ari,

I'm about 400 kilometers from my rack at this time. The rack is approx. 70cm wide by 40cm deep. I think the hitch was rated at about 14-15 kg so that's about all the weight I put in. I have an ice chest on it and stack two sleeping bags on top of the chest. Covers the license plate but they don't care here. It is built from steel with a fibreglass deck.

I'll get some pictures when I get where it's located.

Rick
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post #16 of 39 Old Jan 20th, 2006, 1:12 am
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Rick,

Thanks a lot in advance for your assistance and eventual pictures.

As far as covering the licence plate is concerned, that should not be a problem as I can apply for the duplicate licence plate. Of course that involves equipping the rack with licence plate holder and proper illumination. And that again gives an excuse to install some led brake lights + running lights + turn signals and what have you.... The power outlet is there already for the trailer.

What I am also curious about is the installation height of the rack. Is the base of your rack on the same level as the Dauntless receiver or did you raise it from that point?
OK, maybe it will all come clear with the pictures. Looking forward to them.

Greetings

Ari "the Farkle-Freak-Finn" Ignatius

Hyvinkää, Finland
2004 ('05) LT, Dark Graphite, "Sunset Cruiser II"

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post #17 of 39 Old Jan 20th, 2006, 7:18 am
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"It would seem the hitch would be so much stiffer is the center of the "X" was either welded or bolted."

I put a small bead on the top and bottom of the "X" AFTER it was fitted in place on the bike. I elected not to put a bolt on since I thought the hole would signifcantly weaken the structure and leave it prone to stress cracks.

My trailer used to have a little "wiggle" in it when hitting bumps that you could feel all the way to the handlebars, especially on corners. It is rock solid now.

(I know you are not supposed to weld on the bike, but I got lucky...)

I REALLY like your idea of a sleeve on the long tube and a couple of AN locking pins to hold it in place, but I have to wonder if over time and vibration it might get kind of loose...hence the return of the "wiggle"!

Happy fabricating!


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post #18 of 39 Old Jan 20th, 2006, 8:59 am
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Yeah, But it's only 3 allen screws and two bolts to take the whole thing off... So if you have to change a tire instead of plugging it.. It's not toooooo much trouble to take the hitch off....

Now.. Were not towing a boat behind our bike but a very light trailer with a couple of hundred pounds at most in it....probably 300 pounds gross weight..

I can easily pick up my trailer when it's empty and store it in my cargo van...Now that I think of it my trailer certainly weighs less than an 80 pound bag of concrete...

John

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post #19 of 39 Old Jan 20th, 2006, 3:04 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrike
I have a Dauntless hitch from my 2005 LT that I will let go for $250, minus the wiring kit, (kept that when I triked). The hitch was only used for one trip before triking so is in like new shape. Great hitch, goes on nice and tows nice.
Sorry all. The hitch is sold.

Robert & Maureen
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post #20 of 39 Old Jan 26th, 2006, 7:49 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrike
I have a Dauntless hitch from my 2005 LT that I will let go for $250, minus the wiring kit, (kept that when I triked). The hitch was only used for one trip before triking so is in like new shape. Great hitch, goes on nice and tows nice.
I would be interested if you still have the hitch available. I have 2005 KLT. Is it easy to remove when not being used?

Rodgtc
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post #21 of 39 Old Feb 2nd, 2006, 9:30 am
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Working on Trailer hitch

I am building a trailer hitch similar to the Dauntless hitch. I will be building a jig so when I am done others may need it. It may take a little while to do it, but for $50cdn in DOM tube, beats $400us.

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post #22 of 39 Old Mar 4th, 2006, 3:44 pm
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New Trailer Hitch

Well, just completed about 80% on the new trailer hitch. Made fixtures for most of it, I'll post some pictures when I have it done. If there are not too many people want hitches, I could sell them for about $300cdn ($250us). It is similar to Dauntless, with some changes. Anyone interested?

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post #23 of 39 Old Mar 10th, 2006, 3:47 pm
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoTrike
I have a Dauntless hitch from my 2005 LT that I will let go for $250, minus the wiring kit, (kept that when I triked). The hitch was only used for one trip before triking so is in like new shape. Great hitch, goes on nice and tows nice.
you still have hitch and wiring?
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post #24 of 39 Old Mar 11th, 2006, 11:28 am
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Market Analysis

Garry, I was wondering how you designed your hitch. I was just thinking of building something like the dauntless - but for mounting a vertical mountainbike carrier instead of pulling a trailer. I read above that someone else used his hitch to carry a crate of some sort instead of a trailer. It seems that the best design (i.e., your niche in this market) might be to make something of an all-purpose receiver into which any of your various accessories would fit. I also really like the subdued appearance of the dauntless when the receiver is removed.

I also wish there were an accessory shelf (like BMR / RCU) that could be quickly removed, too. I dislike the idea of leaving $1500 of electronics gear hanging out for all to see while I'm at the movies in a new city. A few connectors & a few cotter-pins here & there... and put that stuff in the trunk when I need to.

I'll keep ya busy
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post #25 of 39 Old Mar 12th, 2006, 8:48 pm
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Just have to make the ball attachment now. Only time I can work on it is Sundays, so, taking longer than I wanted. I'll post pictures when I am done. I don't see a problem putting in another attachment to hold a box or something other than a trailer ball. The attachment is quite strong.

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post #26 of 39 Old Mar 21st, 2006, 5:26 pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Holy Cow
I had a hitch on my Venture Royale and, while I didn't pull my trailer much, it was nice knowing I could. Now with my K1200LT I don't have a hitch.

So, has anyone built their own? I know Dauntless makes a really nice one, but it is $400, and I have thousands of dollars in shop equipment and a nice pile of raw material out in my shop. Plus the engineer in me just won't let me buy what I could build myself.

It would be great if someone had blue prints or autocad files. Or at least some pointers on what to do and what not to do, now that you have done it.

I guess if there is interest, I can shot some pictures and post some prints when I get working on mine.
Mine is done, check out the classifed section.

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post #27 of 39 Old Apr 25th, 2006, 8:35 am
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New Trailer

Well, got my new trailer last week, put 1000 km on it and the new hitch in 5 days. All OK, the trailer is now in at the paint shop to colour match my bike, I'll post pictures when I get it back. Tows like a dream, don't even know it is on most times.

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post #28 of 39 Old Apr 25th, 2006, 8:55 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by garry_kramer
Well, got my new trailer last week, put 1000 km on it and the new hitch in 5 days. All OK, the trailer is now in at the paint shop to colour match my bike, I'll post pictures when I get it back. Tows like a dream, don't even know it is on most times.
Sounds great Garry. You'll have to post pictures when its all painted up.

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post #29 of 39 Old Apr 25th, 2006, 11:44 am
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jamesgoodchild
Sounds great Garry. You'll have to post pictures when its all painted up.
Will do James, BTW you able to ride to Vegas with us?

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post #30 of 39 Old Mar 10th, 2008, 1:11 pm
 
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Re: Working on Trailer hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by garry_kramer
I am building a trailer hitch similar to the Dauntless hitch. I will be building a jig so when I am done others may need it. It may take a little while to do it, but for $50cdn in DOM tube, beats $400us.
How did that hitch come out looking to build one also ? Harold
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post #31 of 39 Old Mar 10th, 2008, 4:42 pm
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Re: Has anyone built their own hitch?

Here is a link to a Swedish producer.Maybe you could get some ideas from the pictures on their homepage.
http://www.rocsweden.com/
Look under 'dragkrokar' and 'lastracken'.

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post #32 of 39 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 6:13 pm
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Re: Working on Trailer hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravelyhead
How did that hitch come out looking to build one also ? Harold
Came out great, got about 20,000 km on it now. No problems.

Garry

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post #33 of 39 Old Mar 31st, 2008, 8:53 pm
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Re: Working on Trailer hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by garry_kramer
Came out great, got about 20,000 km on it now. No problems.

Garry
pik churz?

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post #34 of 39 Old May 24th, 2008, 2:17 am
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Re: Has anyone built their own hitch?

Garry,

I may be interested in your hitch also.
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post #35 of 39 Old May 24th, 2008, 4:05 am
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Re: Has anyone built their own hitch?

I didnt build it but this is what I use from classic industries here in Australia may give you some idea's it fits tucked up under the saddle bags works great for me solid as a rock
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and no koalas are not Bears



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post #36 of 39 Old Aug 18th, 2008, 9:09 pm
 
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Re: Has anyone built their own hitch?

I am in the final process of making my own hitch for a r1200clc
I used a combination of a gl 1500 hitch & pictures I found on another site
to fab. up mine. it fits perfectly & looks good as well. 35.00 in materials
versus the 700.00 from another source, & since I'm a penny pincher I went with my own design. I can send pics to anyone that wants one.

Ray
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post #37 of 39 Old Aug 18th, 2008, 9:49 pm
 
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Re: Has anyone built their own hitch?

I would like pictures and any other info. you would care to share.... :-)
Thanks
little_jake
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post #38 of 39 Old Sep 29th, 2008, 6:07 am
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Re: Working on Trailer hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by garry_kramer
Came out great, got about 20,000 km on it now. No problems.

Garry
Gary:

You indicated in the past that you might be making up a few hitches for sale. Is this still in your plans? If so can you send me some info and photos? I have a 2007K1200LT. You can email me directly at "[email protected]"

Hanshi
Reading, PA
Current Bikes:
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post #39 of 39 Old Nov 15th, 2008, 9:35 am
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Re: Working on Trailer hitch

Quote:
Originally Posted by gravelyhead
How did that hitch come out looking to build one also ? Harold
Hitch came out great. I have about 20,000 km on it now with no problems.

Let me know if anyone is interested in one, I'll there is enough interest I can get them made.

It also disconnects like the Dauntless to hide the hitch.

Garry
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2012 RED KLR650


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Last edited by garry_kramer; Nov 15th, 2008 at 9:41 am.
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